Overseas investors still interested in troubled Pools '“ but progress remains slow as deadline looms

Two overseas investors are still weighing up whether to make an offer for Hartlepool United.

Thursday, 11th January 2018, 9:00 am
Victoria Park, home of Hartlepool United.

Of the six interested parties who signed non-disclosure agreements, just two remain – and both are based outside the UK.

But little progress has been made in the last 48 hours and Pools are no closer to a takeover than they were before news broke of their financial predicament.

Pools are just 14 days away from potentially going into administration.

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With that would come a 10-point deduction by the National League, as well as potential sanctions.

The club need to find in the region of £200,000 by January 25, in order to cover the players’ wages, as well as those who work behind the scenes at the club.

A number of bills, including a one to the HMRC, must also be covered later this month.

Last week, the news broke that six parties had provided proof of funds to the total of £3million to club solicitors and signed NDAs – a procedure which allows them access to confidential information, for example about the club’s finances, but prevents any of those sensitive details being shared.

It is understood one of the major sticking points with any deal for fresh investment is the club’s current debt. At present, that stands around £1.8million.

While the debt is considerable, it’s owed in the main to owner John Blackledge, of Sage Investments.

There are some other outstanding debts, but they are not understood to total a significant sum.

Blackledge and Sage are understood to be keen to recoup some of the money that has been put into the club, although hopes of getting the whole sum back are fading by the day.

Efforts have begun among Pools’ loyal fanbase to raise funds to help keep the club afloat.

And while any funds would, no doubt, be greatly received by Pools in the short-term, a more long-term plan for cash is needed.